German car industry faces ‘existential threat’ from political attack and electric vehicles

Germany’s car manufacturers face an existential crisis and risk going the way of Britain’s once-mighty car industry within ten years, Volkswagen has warned in the grimmest assessment to date.

Herbert Diess, the company’s chief executive, said Germany is not ready for the revolutionary effects of the electric vehicle and is under political assault from those challenging the whole concept of car ownership and mobility.

He told VW suppliers gathered in Wolfsburg – the sanctum sanctorum of German auto preeminence – that the sector is under a competitive threat of the first order and must embrace root-and-branch reform to survive. “Nothing is guaranteed for eternity,” he said.

“If you look at the former bastions of the auto industry such as Detroit, Oxford-Cowley, or Turin, you can see what happens to cities once their dominant companies and industries falter,” he said.

“As things stand today, the chances are perhaps 50:50 that the German car industry will remain at the pinnacle of the world in ten years,” he said.

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Elon Musk, Tesla, Sued For Fraud Over Tweets, Going Private Transaction

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It’s not just Tesla cars that burn easily, Elon Musk’s credibility has gone up in flames too. (Picture source: https://electrek.co/ )

 

On Thursday (9 August), on the back of a dramatic move by Bullshitter – in Chief Elon Musk, who out of the blue Tweeted that he was taking his electric car / solar panels / space exploration company private, Tesla stocks initially spiked thanks to Musk’s claim that “funding was secured” for the massive buyback needed to take the company off the stock market, then slumped when it emerged that there had been no prior discussion with investors or members of the Tesla board. It quickly became clear that Musk had no funds secured and has already maxed out his company’s credit. Then somewhat more sinister rumours emerged anbout Musk’s motives and gossip in financial markets suggested Musk and Tesla may soon be sued by both traders who had taken short and long positions on the company when the dust finally settles.

To be short on a stock, in very simple terms, means traders have made forward contracts to sell at an agreed proce stock they do not own, in the expectation the market price will fall and the stock needed to cover the contract can be bought more cheaply than the contract price. A long position is simply making a forward contract to buy a stock at a fixed price, anticipating that by the contract date the prive will have risen above that, and the stock can be resold for a quick profit.

In news that emerged yesterday first half of this prediction came true when we learned buth short and long sellers of Tesla stock had filed actions against Tesla and Elon Musk alleging the Tesla CEO and anointed Messia of Silicon Valley tech fanboys had fraudulently engineered a scheme to squeeze short-sellers – something Musk has previously indicated he intended to do – through his shock announcement to take the electric car company private.

The lawsuits were filed three days after Musk’s shocking tweet in which he proposed a record $72 billion transaction that valued the company at $420 per share, and that “funding” had been “secured.” One day later, Bloomberg reported that the SEC had inquired from investment banks about whether this funding was indeed “secured”. the alternative would indicate an attempt by the CEO to launch a short squeeze by materially misrepresenting wishful thinking as reality.

Subsequently on Friday, Bloomberg (again) reported that Tesla’s Board of Directors had only begun canvassing investors and banks about funding of an MBO-type transaction, implicitly confirming that Musk may have misrepresented facts, opening up the company to legal action.

In one of the lawsuits, plaintiff Kalman Isaacs said Musk’s tweets were false and misleading, and together with Tesla’s failure to correct or retract them amounted to an “attack” designed to “completely decimate” short-sellers. The lawsuit filed by Isaacs, and a second one filed by William Chamberlain said Musk’s and Tesla’s conduct artificially inflated Tesla’s stock price and violated federal securities laws.

In the confusion following Musk’s tweet a rumour circulated that Musk had secured an agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia to fund the delisting transaction, but the Saudi Royal House quickly denied any interest in such a deal.

 

First Porsche? Steady On Boys, Its Not A Carrera

The first Porsche vehicle ever built was recently rediscovered in an old barn in Austria. What’s even more amazing is that the car had been sitting there since being abandoned in 1902. Perhaps it was dumped because it was an electric car. Even back they they knew the turd-on-wheels Toyota Prius was not the future of motoring. Take a look:

 

Now this piece of automotive history is getting some recognition. It is currently on display in Stuttgart, where it was unveiled on Mon., January 27, 2014.

Yahoo News reports “The ‘Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model,’ or P1 for short, was designed and built by Ferdinand Porsche himself, first hitting the streets of Vienna on June 26, 1898.”

As we would expect from its designer, the first Porsche featured many design and engineering innovations including rearwheel drive and front wheel steering. It also had brakes, which were an optional extra in those days. The car was powered by a Porsche designed electric motor with an eight sided housing.

porsche carrera

OK So It’s Blue, Any Other Similarities?

The Bluebird DC50, a two-door sports car with horse power of up to 360bhp, will be unveiled at a special public event next month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s land and speed water records.

It will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in fewer than six seconds and drive up to 200mph on its battery, the manufacturer said.

Just 50 limited edition models are being made and they will only be available in trademark Bluebird blue, but owners can choose from three different levels of horse power ranging from 240bhp to 360bhp.

Prices have not yet been announced (I hmmmmm, wonder why) but the company said last month that it hoped to deliver the first finished models, complete with a built-in iPad interface and a bluetooth “floating dashboard”, by next spring. Well that’s a positive, you’ll be able to surf the web or watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster while you are sitting in the service station waiting for it to recharge on you way back from the supermarket.

Bluebird, new electric carTne new Bluebird – take a Ferrari and stick a ton of batteries in to weigh it down.

Can anyone explain why electric car makers are so keen to build 200mph sports cars that accelerate from 0 – 60 in three milliseconds when speed limits around the world tend to be between 70 and 80 mph. It is perhaps to divert attention from the lousy range of electric cars and the fact that where the back seat and boot traditionally go is full of nasty, polluting batteries that have a tendency to explode and incinerate the car and it’s occupants.

Thoroughbred electric cars can be engineered to accelerate quickly if they have a set of fully charged batteries. Like the beam from a torch powered by US batteries however, the brilliance gradually fades (i.e. the top speed will reduce as the charge diminishes) The Bluebird will be no different. It will have poor range and overtaken by skateboarders when it mears home after a trip to see your Dear Old Mum fifty miles away. Hybrid cars were developed as a scientists attempt to rescue to rescue yet another concept that looked good in theory but was next to useless in practical terms.

The world speed record for an electric vehicle was set in the late 19th century 137 mph and raised to 151 mph in 2012. hat has happened since? In between that, as speed records for internal combustion powered vehicles increased from 40 mph to 400+ mph while turbojet driven cars reached speed of over 700mph, electric vehicles made very good milk floats, road sweepers and mobility scooters for disabled people.

Donald Campbells 403mph Bluebird
Donald Campbell’s 403 mph Bluebird (1964) would get you all the way to the supermarket and back but would have been a bugger to park.

Not Fast, Not Cool, Not Worth Waiting For

Part of this morning was spent waiting for an item heavily trailed on breakfast TV, an attempt to break the world land speed record for streamlined milk floats electric cars. The speed the guys were aiming for was higher than 137 mph.

This is not impressive when you consider that the record for a any wheeled vehicle currently stands at 763 mph and the record for a proper car (internal combustion engine, prop shaft and stuff is still the 403 mph achieved by Donald (Coniston) Campbell in 1964.

You have to remember this is absolute records we are talking about, not the speed my beloved sister would cruise at when pootling up the M6 to see our Dear Old Mum.

Rather amusingly I did not see the record attempt. The technical crew bringing the safety certificates from team HQ a few miles away were over an hour late. They must have been travelling in an electric car.

The record was later broken when the Nemesis electric car hit 148 mph after Jeremy Clarkson had given it a kick up the arse. This is still only marginally faster that the speed at which an Express Dairies milk float left our road in 1987, driven by Tommy the milkman as he fled from Sexy Bexy’s house when her hubby Bruiser Gomersall arrive home early off the night shift.

Electric cars have a long way to go.

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Drivers Cool About Electric Cars

Have you purchased your new, clean, green, politically correct, all electric car yet?

No? I thought not.

Neither have I. It is not so much that I hate the enviroment or that I do not want to support the fabulous clean, green, sustainable job creating indistries fabulous, clean, green Dave has promised us will lead Britain to a new utopia, nor is my reluctance a result of my severe allergy to paying £30,000 for a matchbox on wheels that if I’m lucky and have the wind behind me will take me and mrs T. all the way to the end of our drive (20 yards) without us needing to stop for a recharge

Those of us who intend to pass on the joys of electric motoring shouldn’t feel guilty, electric cars simply don’t work. The technology is way off being ready to provide a serviceable vehicle. So long as that is the case drivers will not buy them in spite of authoritarian attempts to bully us. America’s Loopyloo state California may have passed a law that will set a clean, green, sustainable quota of 15% of all vehicles on its roads to be electric cars by 2025. Well passing laws is one thing, making people obey them is another.

Evidence of this can be found in Obama’s Brave New World, in the US car making state of Indiana. An electric car manufacturer set up with $100 million of Obama’s stimulus money (it’s called stimulus money because every time Bammy flushes another $1billion down the pan it gives him a hard on)and a battery maufacturing plant to suply power packs for the cars stands idle. 100 hundred cars were made and not one sold. The plant, lanched with promises that it would provide 400 jobs now stands idle and has just two employees, an accountant and a caretaker.

The owners are hoping to find a Chinese buyer.

It seems that drivers have been rather cool on the idea of eletric cars all over the developed world. Somehow I think other drivers, particularly those in sunny California will rebel against this latest green lunacy and will not be buyiong an electric car any time soon because they don’t fancy burning to death in a fiery roadside inferno.

CarOnFire

This is what happened when one reckless electric car owner tried to accelerate his milk float new, clean, green, sustainable pride and joy to more than twenty miles an hour.

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Shock, Horror! Top Gear Presenter Sells Out.

Negotiating our way through the world has become like walking on quicksand, nothing is what it seems to be and what seems safe and solid can shift and reveal it is just an illusion in the wink of an eye.

Small wonder then that humans cling to certainties like religion, faith in the infallibility of science or for a certain type of British person the belief that Top Gear will always defend our right to drive politically incorrect cars.

We are foolish to rely on such things. As Benjamin Franklin said “A nation that would trade liberty for security deserves neither.

Perhaps we have become such a nation. Perhaps we were deluding ourselves in thinking we could rely on Top Gear to protect our right to put the needle in the red zone.

Even though the car I drive is only the sportiest variation of the Honda Accord my world was rocked this morning when I read this headline:

Hammond Praises High Seed Rail

The Hamster, the insane speed freak who straps himself to rockets and demands to be propelled into the wide blue yonder? Train?

Well yeah, OK, it is high speed train but even so it is not the same as riding a bomb is it?

Let’s hope Clarkson does something horrible to him. Like making him drive an electric car all next year.

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Batteries Not Included

News today that a range of nine electric cars are to be given goverrnment subsidies of 25%. This will make the price of an electric car with specification equivalent to a Nissan Micra only slightly more expensive than a mid range Merc or Beemer. Yes electric cars are the Apple iMac of the roads. You pay twice as much for half as much but you get to feel smug.

And then there is the problem of range, The current generation of electric cars will, if you live in a fairly modest semi, get you to the end of the drive before they need charging.

And there are no fast charging points yet which means you have to hang about eight hours while the car charges from a 13 amp socket before continuing your journey.

We have reported previously that electric cars are not clean, they simply shift the shit from the end of your exhaust to the flue of a power station or the outfall from a nuclear plant.

One spokesman for the fraud green energy industry said electric cars will come into their own as renewables become our main source of power. Has anybody noticed how little sunshine we’ve had since October and how windless the cold days of the last two weeks were – except for the days there was a force six and the windmills had to be shut down because they would have torn themselves apart.

But that’s not all the bad news for sandal wearing tree huggers. There’s worse to come:
(a) Making a set of batteries for an electric car and scrapping or recycling the same causes more pollution than conventional fuel will in the car’s lifetime (and nastier pollution too).
(b) When you buy an electric car there a line of small print on the box. It says “batteries not included.

You will be reassured to know Fatsally will not be giving up her 2.5litre turbocharged Subaru Impreza 4 x 4 nor I my 2 litre VTEC Honda Accord any time soon. Proper cars for proper drivers.

VROOOOOOM 😀

Read news story on Electric Cars at BBC News
Nuclear Accident

Our Car Of The Year – The Toyota Schadenfreude.

Another day, another kick in the bollocks for Toyota. It turns out their much hyped Prius, the car of choice for the kind of B list celebrity who like to talk publicly of how green they are but when they have to go anywhere hire a chauffeur driven limo, as well as not being very reliable is not very green.

Some readers will have seen a viral e mail doing the rounds claiming a Hummer is greener than a Prius. That is not true but if the carbon footprint of manufacturing and disposing of batteries is factored into the equation the Prius has a more negative impact on the environment than a BMW 3 series, Volvo S40, Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord or any other similar sized car that is roomier and performs better because it does not have to haul forty five tons of battery around.

When the horribly underpowered Prius is running on its tiny petrol engine it is the 21st century equivalent of a Citroen 2 CV, the old fashioned galvanised dustbin fitted with a moped engine that despite being tiny was one of the most evilly polluting cars ever built (fun though, especially if you were trying to shag in one.) Both the Prius and the 2CV were designed specifically for the purpose of going nowhere slowly. A drive through rural France however reveals that at least the 2CV made a good chicken shed.

I could explain here why the 2CV was such a dirty little bugger but it is boring.
Many fans of the Toyota Prius are currently whining that its detractors are currently revelling in schadenfreude because we are closet climate change deniers. Not so. The glee is not at the downfall of the Toyota Prius not is it a racist reflex at the Japanese car industry having at last been revealed as less than perfect. No, it is seeing those smug, self righteous Prius owning bastards getting their come- uppance that is so satisfying. For this reason alone we would rename the car Toyota Schadenfreude and nominate it car of the year. It has captured the zeitgeist as much as the unravelling of the AGW “climate change science” commissioned by catastrophe capitalists. which we were all told was beyond questioning but which turned out to be based on made up data. Climate science is the Toyota Prius of the sciences, as soon as you hit a bump the wheels fall off.

We ordinary punters must carry on however, aware of the problems and how they will affect our lives and also aware that the people who have set themselves up as having the expertise to deal with the problems have less of a clue what to do than the little Dutch boy in the story who stuck his finger in the dyke. So far the tools they have offered us are electric cars that generate more carbon emissions than the conventional cars they will replace, depend on elements already scare and costly for their battery technology and have to be recharged every thirty yards, carbon trading schemes that will make millions for the people who are telling us how evil carbon releasing fossil fuels are and whacko ideas like V2G, a scheme to power the grid from your electric car or a proposal to pump sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to create acid rain that will kill forests when we know deforestation is a contributor to climate change.

When you look at it we haven’t a chance really. Let’s have a party until doomsday.

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The Only Reason You’ll Ever Need To Hate The Toyota Prius.

There has always been something about the Toyota Prius that pissed me right off but I could never quite put my finger on what it was:

The smug self righteousness of the bastards that drive them maybe? the lies about it being a hybrid when it will actually do about four miles on the electric motor before the batteries go flat and it becomes a grossly underpowered but otherwise conventional family saloon?

The way we are told it will do 700 miles on a tankful of fuel so long as you are willing to spend four hours recharging the batteries for ever half hour you spend driving?

The duplicitous way adverts claim the car is green when in fact to obtain the raw materials needed to manufactured the batteries, heavily armed corporate thugs have driven thousands of primitive tribespeople in Ecuador or Bolivia or somewhere from land their ancestors have farmed for over a thousand years?

Is it the way the car poses as environmentally friendly when in fact making and scrapping the batteries puts loads of heavy metals and other toxic shit into the environment?

Or is it perhaps just that the latest Prius looks like a motorised turd?

When I saw an ad for the new Prius today however I was left in no doubt what makes me hate the bloody things.

Effing everything, that’s what.

Toyota’s engineers are the kind of sad, dysfunctional, cone – headed freaks who think because they are good at doing equations they can build a car that is cleverer than me. Toyota’s public relations people think I’m so stupid they can persuade me to believe people who are good at doing equations can build a car that is cleverer than me. Fortunately I have driven lots of cars whereas none of these people have ever driven a car as will become clear.

So let’s put things in perspective. The Toyota Prius is neither clean nor green, nor is it likely to get you anywhere you need to be any quicker than you could walk there. The clever Japanese cone – heads who built the Prius do not know much about torque or power – to – weight ration or stuff like that but they do know about gadgets. Thus they have built the Prius with a tiny engine, an electric engine jut about powerful enough to move its own batteries and lots of gadgets. The Toyota public relations people meanwhile, by putting a positive emphasis on the car’s unique selling points (a.k.a. telling lies) are sure we are so gullible we will be impressed by gadgets like this:

The Prius projects speed and navigation information onto the windscreen so you are not distracted by having to look down at the instrument panel.

Now the very last thing an experienced driver wants to see when looking at the road ahead is the odometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and sat nav screen. What we would much rather see is that forty ton truck coming towards us. It should be a no brainer to cone heads, advertising creatives and even the kind of people who would drive a motorised turd for the sake of appearing to care about the planet. But instead of spotting that little flaw in their design, Toyota have built a car that wants to kill us.

So there you have it, the only reason you will ever need to hate the Toyota Prius.

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